Immaculate conception a fairy tale?
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about : His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. (St Matthew 1:18)
It's coming to that time of year when Christendom celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and, for many, it is regarded as the beginning of the salvation process.
However, there is no getting away from the controversy surrounding details of Christ's birth. There are many theories, all with different time spans. Many persons have found it futile trying to figure out the exact date. Some have even said that His birthday could have taken place in April, while others find a reason to question the process of an "angel overshadowing a woman".
Family and Religion turned to Pastor Darren McKoy, national youth director for the Church of God in Jamaica, to weigh in on the issues.
"The birth of Jesus Christ and the time when He was born does not really make a difference for us as Christians. The date and time has no real bearing on the man He is and what He did for us," asserts McKoy. "If He was born in the summer, it would not have made His impact any less, and the real gift of salvation would remain the same."
EXACT DATE OF BIRTH NOT SIGNIFICANT
For McKoy, celebrating Jesus' birth is simply to acknowledge that He was born and what He has done for us. "It makes no difference when He was born. What is most important is what He has done for us," the pastor stated.
McKoy said he understood the reason why the immaculate conception would sound like a fairy tale to the unbeliever.
"Where have you ever heard about a virgin giving birth? Where have you heard about an angel coming from the skies to tell a woman (who has never had sex) that she is going to birth a son who is going to save the world? Only on television!" McKoy exclaimed.
He said the whole process defies logic and reason and people are more inclined to believe logic than to actually put their trust in something they don't understand.
"Hence, people will always have a problem with Jesus, His birth, and the Christians who profess this 'fairy-tale God' as Lord and Saviour," the pastor said.
However, although it is hard to digest for some persons, McKoy said Jesus' birth is the most significant activity that has occurred in history.
"Contrary to popular belief, mankind and humanity did not evolve; they were created. We were created and designed by an uncaused God, who is manifested in three persons while remaining One. This included Jesus, who was given to humanity in the form of man, whose main purpose was to bring redemption to the world," he said.
For those who like to speculate about Christmas and Christ's birth, McKoy said the holiday is not about Christ's birthday, because no one knows for sure when He was born.
"If we were to do a thorough background check, we may also come to the realisation that December 25 is not the day. We should see Christmas, however, as a time of sharing and demonstrating the love that Christ wants us to have and share with others," McKoy advised, pointing out that the season cannot be just about drinking sorrel and eating fruit cake.
"It has to also be about spending time with family and taking time to attend to those who don't have what you have. Make that be your true meaning for Christmas, not to celebrate a birthday that we are unsure about," the pastor concludes.